Showing posts with label our story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label our story. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2016

the girl in the screen

I walk up to my room, empty of laughter and whispers, yet so full of things that call out their last use.

The paint brushes we used until 3:30am making water-color hand-lettering.
The chocolate cookies we ate compulsively.
Her cup of water.
A beautiful card that I still haven't actually read because I could only get two sentences in.
Two black flip-flops, one with a redneck contraption resulting from: first night of mission trip/long walk/broken shoe/hairband/a future engineer.
A pink notebook.

It's all petty and little and stupid.
She's moved before.
I've visited before.
We've done this.

In fact, we're almost pros at long distance friendship.
Our fb messaging game is beyond stellar.
Facetime is a regular occurrence and rarely lasts under an hour.
She knows what's happening.
I know what's happening.
We talk, and cry, and laugh together across a giant ocean.

Yes, it's hard not zipping to her house that's no longer 7 minutes away.
It's sad to miss each others races, concerts, recitals, shows, time after time after time. 
I hate not having sleepovers.
I hate not being able to have her meet the people I talk about.
It sucks.

Yet at the same time, I know how to sit with the sucky-ness when it comes.
Throughout my journal, you'll see me talking to God about whatever, and see a totally random, "I miss Jayna" thrown in.
Because there are days when I feel whats missing.
But not everyday.

There was something about this last visit that made it harder to swallow.
Maybe it's because she used to live here. 
We have memories in my house.
My town.
She got to see some of my friends.
Meet up with some of her friends.

And then we hugged and said goodbye.
Goodbye with the knowledge that Korea is a lot farther the Hawaii.
Knowing that we might not see each other for a long time. 
Knowing that this-
these giggles
hugging during the tears
sharing make-up
sleeping in the same bed when we had two
feeling completely and perfectly at home
no need to entertain
nothing to hide or pretend
true and authentically being

is what I'm missing.
Now I go back to being friends to the girl in the screen, knowing she's so much more.

This is a kinda sad post.
And it's okay, because I'm kinda sad.

But you wanna know something?
Being sad really is okay.

And in this little grey cloud, I'm confident in my need for Jesus.
I need his love to continually pour over me.
I'm reminded of my infinite value because of his infinite grace.

This emptiness?
It's a side effect of our world.
These skin and bones are not my own.
This place?
It's not where I belong.

Monday, July 11, 2016


Change is blowing all around me.
Twisting and turning,

taking people and things I never thought it would. 

Some days the miles feel short.
Numbers on a screen, spliced by moving lips.

Not today.
Today the miles are long. 
They taunt me with their size, their altitude, their area. 
You feel very far.

And although I know where you are,
and what your doing,
the texts don't cut the distance today.
My heart is not numb.

The inches feel very long today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Watch out Hawaii!

In 21 days I'm going to be sailing across the ocean to visit my long lost friend in Hawaii. We will get to spend 7 days of sunny, tropical bliss, doing what best friends do. I get to meet Jayna's sweet, little baby sister Annalee, whisper all night in her bedroom, and go shopping. Shaved ice is certainly on the agenda, and we also get to celebrate her 16th birthday. In case you haven't noticed, I am pretty excited!

 What I am most looking forward to though, is seeing my friend.

{Jayna and her mom}

The past two and a half years have been long, and kind of lonely without my partner in crime 10 minutes away. My posts were long an sappy and depressing in the months after you left. A lot of sad things did happen right around that time, but I was also covering myself in doubt.

I felt like my hear was being ripped up, and God wasn't stopping it. I remember crying out to God, asking him why he was taking all these people away from me; people that I loved deeply. It was sad; although I see and know that God was walking through those situations, I still don't understand the bigger picture.

 Sometimes that's how it goes.
We question our circumstances.
Our boats are rocked, and we wonder why this happening.

Even though I do finally get to see my friend, I still have no idea what God is doing.

I'm not sure what's going to happen next. But I know that it's gonna end up awesome.

 So now I'm curious. Have you had a situation where you questioned your circumstances? How did it turn out?

Hey, thanks so much for dropping by Letters to Jayna! Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think. And if you like what you see, take a moment to follow me on Google+, Bloglovin, and Blogger. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dear Annalee

Dear Annalee--

  Hello, and welcome to the world! My name is Elissa, and I am writing this to you from a island town in Washington. I met your biggest sister, Jayna, here a little over four years ago. Your brother hadn't even made his entrance yet; he was still cooking. :-)

This is going to be a fun adventure! I am so excited that you are here. I will take you shopping, and drive you around; know you are always welcome in my house. I'm sure your family will introduce you to the ocean pretty soon- I'm across that ocean! I know your sisters can't wait to paint your nails and dress you.

I hate to tell you this, but what people are going to do to you isn't always going to be fun. That mean nurse is going to make you cry. Your poopy dippers are going to have to be changed. I'm sorry to break it to you, but sometimes your just going to have to nap.

Jayna and Annalee

Little Annalee, you are a beautiful, precious blessing. There are gonna be times when you hear a small voice tell you that you are not a miracle. Big people are gonna tell you that your too young. You are going to be let down when someone tells you no. Sweet baby, it's not always going to be fun.

But whatever happens in this big world Annalee, you will always have your family loving you and cheering you on. Your mama is a amazing lady, and she will always stand up for you. Your dad love you more then you know, and will always hang out with you. Your three big sisters are there for you too: Jayna will always let you be the princess. Sky will give you a push on the swing, and sweet Lilly will always make you laugh. Your big brother will forever watch out for you, even though he originally thought you were a fish.

I know it's probably not as cozy here then it is in your mama's stomach.
There's lots of weird smells too.
But those people that are holding you?
They are amazing, Annalee Maribel.

  I cannot wait to meet you, my new extra sister!

love you,


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

730 Days

730 days ago I gave you a hug.
     A long, but oh-too-short hug.

And in these 730 days I have done lots of things.
I started high school.
I watched my aunt die.
I've spent a lot of nights dancing.
A lot of mornings dressing.
A lot of school days working.

  I've won two science fairs.
I've practically failed Algebra out of laziness.
  I read To Kill a Mockingbird which is my new favorite book.
I've been to sleepovers, learned to drive, and re-organized my room.
  I've danced in weird, extremely long performances,
toured collages with my older sister, and celebrated the baby of the families 9th birthday.

It's been joyful and beautiful, messy and complicated, lonely and full.

 The past 730 days have sucked up energy, motivation, perseverance, and grace, only to have God fill me when I ask.

  I have asked and revived.
I have forgiven, and been unjustly forgiven.
   I have been judged, and judged others.
I have cried out to God asking for direction.

Life has moved on.
Storms have passed.
Sunshine has radiated.

Rain has fallen
and flowers have grown.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned in life; it goes on."
                               -Robert Frost

God is faithful, and has unending love.
He will guide our steps.

Monday, September 8, 2014

February 14

            The following is a journal entry I wrote February 14, 2013:

God, this one goes to Jayna;
May her travels be smooth
May she be able to say goodbye peacefully and calmly
May she have a peaceful heart about where she is going
My you bless the house that they move into; will you fill it with joy, with laughter, warmness, hospitality, and a welcoming glow.
May it me a place where Jayna can grow in her independence
May the dance studio be filled with the love of dance
May it be a place were dreams are formed, and grown rather then cut down and shattered.
May it be a place of calmness, and a place where Jayna will be able to worship you with her dance.
May it be a place where Jayna can remove herself from the dramas and stresses of life, and be a place that she will feel your peace in.
May the teachers there see all of the talent you have given her, and may they see how hard she has worked these last few years.
May they enjoy having her in each class, and may she be a fresh breath of newness to the studio.
May the teachers help her grow in her dancing, rather then slowing her down.
May the teachers give her dreams and goals, and Lord, may the girls welcome her and treat her kindly.
May they help her figure things out in a way that is honoring to you.
May they enjoy there company and want to hang out with her.
Lord, may you help them see what a great friend she is.

              God, please hear my prayers. Please God.

 Out of all the praying I did for you before you moved, this was one that I wrote out. I was scared for you; that everything would be a disaster, and Hawaii would be a horrible experience. I prayed and prayed about it, because I wanted God to protect you from anything bad that might happen.

But you know what? Hard stuff still happened.
Three dance studios, and a lot of tears latter, you made the decision to quit dance.
    I asked God why was this happening to you? Did he not hear my prayers? Was I wrong in asking for all this? Why were people so mean and discouraging to you?

At the time of your decision, I really supported that. It was the right thing to do.

  But why was God telling you to quit something that had given you so much joy? Was it to much of a idol, and taking your focus of Him? Was it controlling your emotions to much? Where you so post to be doing something else, or tough it out?

I don't think it was an idol, and I don't think it had much power over your emotions. Yet I don't think you were meant to be toughing it out either. So why was there all that drama, when my prayer was seaming to be met with a no?

This is why:

  You needed to be restored. You had to experience hard, hard things in order to be restored.

When we talked on the phone after that first class, I was tearing up. Not just because I was so happy for you (which I was!), but because God said yes.

  He was doing what I asked Him to do over a year and a half ago. He was planning this before I asked; before you where born.

That prayer was written on Valentines day; a day about love. Valentines day is celebrated by showing love between people; but does God limit to showing His love just on Valentines day? Nope, nope, nope and no. God is the ultimate example of love, because God is love.  He is a loving God.

 He wasn't sitting up there looking forward to hard stuff coming your way; He was sitting up there with the knowledge that your life would be an example of His love. What a amazing thing to be.

  My friend, the word restored is a good word. A very, very good word. :)


Question: When was a time you felt like God wasn't being loving?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Year


Tuesday, April 15, 2013 was the day.
The day written all calendars, with dread mixed up with anticipation.
   The day the car pulled into the driveway, and "Jayna and Skyler, your dad is here," was yelled up the stair case.
   So we walked all over the house, making sure you wouldn't leave anything.
Stalling, really.
  And out into the driveway we walked.
Loaded stuff into the car.
Said goodbye to Lilly and Wyatt.
     And couldn't be stalled any longer.
We had to say goodbye.
It was hard, but is wasn't really a goodbye. It was more of a 'see you later'.
    Because even though it's been a year, it wasn't the end. It's was a beginning of a bigger story; one that hasn't been finished.
   I don't know what will happen, but our friendship has still continued to grow and change. I would be lying if I didn't say I miss how it used to be, but I am excited to find out what happens next.
   kisses your way

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Home is where the heart is

Once upon a time two girls named Jayna and Elissa were having a sleepover. It was about 10:45, the time that mothers start telling you to be quiet, and random silly talk is over for a bit...the time when the tears start to fall as you begin to talk about every hard thing that has ever happened to you, dropping a occasional, 'God showed me this', or 'That is when I realised...'.
But this sleepover was different. It was at a time when a lot was going on in both of our lives; a time of a lot of stress, a lot of worry, a lot of panic, and just a lot of asking,        
"What do I do next?"
I remember Jayna telling me, "I am just so terrified of being the new girl....I am dreading the feeling of walking into a room and knowing no one. I am tired of proving myself again, again, and again.....I don't want to leave! I finally feel like I belong hear, I feel like people know me and I don't have to try to build all new friendships. I know who my, friends are, I know who has my back, I know who loves me and cares about me. I also know who I need to avoid, who is causing drama, and who is just stirring up trouble.
I don't know if I can do this all over again!"

The tears were falling, and I was trying to relate. I was trying to understand what that must be like; and she painted a pretty good picture for me. But honestly, I much as I tried to understand what she was going through I just couldn't. As much as I would have liked to, I couldn't put myself in her shoes. And then she suddenly brushed away a couple of tears, and hopped up out from her sleeping bag and grabbed her ipod saying that she needed to show me something. She got on YouTube and showed me the movie that I have up top, Home by Phillip Phillips, here though it is sung by Britt Nicole a bit of a favorite of Jayna and I...(I am sure you will be hearing more about that latter..) but anyways, the choirs of the song goes,
Settle down, it will all be clear. Don't pay no mind to the demeans they fill you with fear. Trouble it might drag you down; if you get lost you can always be found.  Just know you're not alone. Cuz I'm gonna make this place your home.

This song has really spoken to Jaynas life, as she then told me she had been listening to it a lot lately. But it kinda made me think: you could take it in a literal sense, or you could use a little insight. I know that where ever Jayna goes, whether it be Hawaii or Antarctica God has her in his hands, but is he really going to make every single place home to her?
The more I thought about this, the more I started to wonder about what that song was saying. And I really have come to realise that home is a state of your heart. It isn't a house, it isn't a city and isn't even a country. What? Yep, that was my first thought to. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me; according to Wikipedia home is this
A home is a place of residence or refuge

Not a house mind you, but a home. Home is a place of peace, a place of inner calmness. It is a place where everything is on the table, and that is ok. It is a place of residence and refuge. Maybe your house is full of fighting, of bitterness and a place of worry and stress. Maybe the place were you grew up in brings back horrible memory's that you don't want to bring up or is full of people you don't want to see. Even if you, like Jayna, 'home' has been so many places and there really isn't one place that fits the definition of a home. 
But God is really teaching me that even though a lot is going on, and it doesn't always feel that fun, I can come home: home to Him.
And you know what? Once I do that, I find peace, inner calmness, openness, and refuge.
And that my friend, is the most amazing feeling of all.
Love, Elissa

Monday, April 15, 2013



Welcome to all you people out there in blogging land! I am very new to the whole blogging thing: I have never had a blog, the closest thing that I have ever had to one is keeping the five billion different note books that I try to keep regularly....So please don't expect amazing, profound, pithy writing from me. A more realistic picture of what might be appearing on to this blog is photos, verses, and letters. Lots and lots of letters. Letters?

You see, today my very very dear friend Jayna (J-na is how you say it) moved courtesy of the navy. They are moving to sunny Hawaii from the rainy northwest. Palm trees, tropical fruit, sandy beaches......sigh. But, before we sigh a litte to much over HAWAII and what a amazing change for the better let me just say a couple things.

                    A) moving is moving. No matter how great the place where you are moving you still have to leave and change your way of life. You have to leave all your friends and be the new girl. You have to go through every single thing you own and pack it all up. Then you get to unpack it all. You have  to say good buy to all of the places that you have explored and grown to love. Sounds fun? Think again.

                      B) the northwest isn't that rainy. Maybe Jayna might disagree with me (you can check out her blog at but honestly it doesn't rain that much. Take Seattle for instance. Everybody thinks of Seattle as cloudy and rainy. Cloudy: yes. Rainy: no. It rains more in New York and LA then it does in Seattle. But don't tell that to the tourists. It keeps them away.

                      C) it is hard being the new girl. Period. But when you move different places where something about you is different then everybody else, it kinda adds to the trauma. Things such as accent, height, clothing, skin colour and just way of life. These things are all in play and for those of you who have lived through moving you know all about this.

  Anyway, as part of Jaynas good buy present she told me that she would keep a blog for me. I had nagged her about that before and so I was thrilled when she told me about it! And so in return, hear I am blogging away. Not really, but you get the picture. E-mails are good, phone calls are great, hand written letters are best; but between family time, conflicting activities, time changes and more, things get a little fuzzy if you know what I mean. But this is something that we can see instantly see when the other person posts,comment on and maybe you can add to the conversation! I do have a tendency to say something along the lines of, "Sorry I haven't been posting, things have been supper crazy...." so I will do my best to have perseverance, but it may be short and sweet at times.

 I hope that you will be able to relate to what we have to say, and please feel free to comment! The one thing that I ask thought is that you be respectful and do not use any writing or pictures without my permission.

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